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GraceKennedy reports strong performance in all segments

Published:Sunday | November 13, 2016 | 12:00 AMTameka Gordon
The GraceKennedy building is partially obscured by utility wires at Harbour Street in Kingston in this September 3, 2016 photo.

GraceKennedy Limited reported a near 12 per cent increase in revenues to $59.7 billion for the nine months ending September.

Net profit also grew to $3.7 billion, relative to $2.3 billion of profit reported for the corresponding period last year. The third quarter contributed $998 million to the bottom line.

The gains were attributed to the improved performance of the various subsidiaries as well as a non-recurring gain from the dissolution of some on operating subsidiaries, the company said.

"Without this gain the net profit attributable to stockholders of the company would have increased by 40.9 per cent or $836.2 million reflecting strong operating performance in our food trading, money services and Insurance segments," the company said in its report to shareholders.

The food-trading segment showed growth in both revenue and profit when compared to the corresponding period of 2015. The segment closed the period with $52.4 billion in revenues and operating results of $1.2 billion over the $47.3 billion in revenues and $754 million in operating results for the comparative period.

GraceKennedy Foods (USA) LLC had several successes, the company said, including new product listings and increased display space for both Grace Foods and it La Fe Foods, in Wal-Mart. The US-based subsidiary also started shipping products to Puerto Rico "in keeping with strategic goal for market expansion", the company said.

Increased sales of Grace Aloe and other nourishment beverages also boosted Grace Foods UK during the period.




"The aloe drink now competes not only in the ethnic drink category but has made significant strides in the main stream drink business in the UK and is currently positioned among the Top 10 UK juice brands," GK said.

GK will "continue to invest heavily behind these brands in order to maximise the their capabilities in the international markets", even as it monitors the potential implications of Britain's exit from the European Union.

The manufacturing and distribution segments also saw growth in both revenue and profits for the period.

In other segments, the banking and investment and money services also saw strong growth. Higher interest income from a "growing loan portfolio" drove the performance of the First Global Bank subsidiary despite a dip in profits.

Revenue and profit improvements grew on the back of the new Western Union operation in The Cayman Islands that the company took over last November. Revenues from the segment grew to $4.2 billion over the $3.7 billion posted in 2015.

The company's mobile money pilot is now complete with final sign-off awaited from the central bank.

Improved performance from the insurance brokerage firm Allied Insurance lifted revenues and profits for the insurance segment with revenues closing the period at $4.8 billion over the $4.5 billion posed for the comparative period.

GK's stock price has risen 57 per cent since the start of the year to September 30, bringing market capitalisation to over $42 billion. Shareholders approved a three-way stock split in August to boost trading of the shares.

GraceKennedy will pay out a dividend of 42 cents per share - totalling $418 million - on December 9.